CUMBERLAND — Woodward D. Pealer, “Woody,” 92, born May 18, 1921, a retired business man, Judge of the Maryland Tax Court, philanthropist, and avid golfer died on Jan. 21, 2014, in Sun City Center, Fla., where he had resided since 1982.
Mr. Pealer was a native of Cumberland, and was predeceased by his loving wife, the former Virginia, Louise Smith, “Jenny.”
In 1956 and 1957 Mr. Pealer was voted the most outstanding young man in Allegany County and was considered among the most outstanding young men in the State of Maryland, for which he was nominated.
In 1962 the Congressional Record of the United States Congress published a speech by then United States Senator J. Glenn Beall, Sr. recognizing “Woody Pealer” to be one of the most decorated veterans in Allegany County. Mr. Pealer flew 55 combat missions in World War II with the 12th Air Force for which he was highly decorated, including the Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf Cluster (twice wounded), the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), the Air Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters and a Presidential Unit Citation.
While serving with the 12th Air Force, he was specifically selected to have an audience at the Vatican with Pope Pius XII.
Aside from his business activity, Mr. Pealer was actively in-volved in many fraternal and civic affairs while in Cumberland, and was instrumental in organizing the area’s first County United Fund, which he served as president.
Mr. Pealer was a past potentate of the Ali Ghan Shrine Temple; a two-term director of the Cumberland Chamber of Commerce; past president of the Sacred Heart Hospital; vice president of the Cumberland Lions Club and co‐chairman of the Cumberland Sports Car Races, the largest closed circuit races in the USA at the time. As a co‐chairman of the Lions Sports Car Races he was successful in promoting the Cumberland area and contributing thousands of dollars to area charities.
In addition, Mr. Pealer was a director of the Salvation Army, Central YMCA, and was chairman of the Brotherhood Dinner, the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Other civic endeavors were secretary‐treasurer of the Cabri Chapter No. 156 International Order of Past Potentates; first chairman of the Civil Service Commission of Allegany County; member of the Wage and Hour Committee for the State of Maryland; and chairman of the Alcoholic Beverage Liquor Control Board of Allegany County. For 12 years he was treasurer and co‐chairman of the Republican Party Finance Committee, which in-cluded serving as Western Maryland Treasurer for United States Senators J.Glenn Beall Sr., Mc Charles Mathais, and J. Glenn Beall, Jr.
He was a guest of President and Mrs. Nixon for one of their few Sunday worship services in the White House, which was followed by brunch.
In 1974 Mr. Pealer began a six-year term as judge of the Maryland Tax Court. Only three citizens of Allegany County have ever served on this Court for Tax Appeals.
Frostburg State University (FSU) has dedicated its Re-cital Hall of the Performing Arts Building to honor the accomplishments of Mr. Pealer. In 2009 FSU publicly recognized Mr. Pealer’s considerable achievements and generous support of the university and its students by conveying upon him an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters and Lifetime Achievement Award.
A memorial service will be held for Mr. Pealer this spring at Arlington National Cemetery, where he will be honored for his considerable service to our county and his remains will be buried.
In lieu of flowers, Mr. Pealer desired that donations to Frostburg State University be made in his memory.